Phil Hughes strikes out seven in first rehab start

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Phil Hughes, who has been on the disabled list for two months with shoulder inflammation, allowed one run in 4 1/3innings and fanned seven Sunday for short-season Single-A Staten Island in his first rehab start.

According to ESPNNewYork.com, Hughes was consistently at 92-93 mph with his fastball and touched 95 mph in the outing, which is great news for the Yankees.  Hughes was in the 88-91 mph range while getting lit up in three starts before landing on the disbaled list.

Hughes gave up three hits and walked one today.  His last pitch was taken out of the park for a homer from catcher Nelfi Zapata, but everything prior to that was encouraging.

Hughes threw 61 pitches in all.  He’s expected to make at least three more rehab starts before rejoining the Yankees next month.  Although the Bombers have lost both Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain to injuries, they have every intention of bringing Hughes back as a starting pitcher.

Joe Maddon: “I have a defensive foot fetish.”

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The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.

Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.

Well then.

The Nationals have scored 62 runs during four Joe Ross starts

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If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.

Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.

Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.

Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.